World, Ukraine, Joe Biden, Russia

World, Ukraine

Biden leaked Ukraine calls were released as part of a Russian 'special operation,' ex-president claims

Biden leaked Ukraine calls were released as part of a Russian 'special operation,' ex-president claims

5/21/2020 11:34:00 PM

Biden leaked Ukraine calls were released as part of a Russia n 'special operation,' ex-president claims

Former President Petro Poroshenko rejected the recordings as 'fabrication' and a Kremlin attempt to undermine bipartisan U.S. support for Ukraine .

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has claimed Russia is behind leaked recordings of him allegedly speaking with former Vice President Joe Biden, who is now the subject of a Senate probe regarding his son Hunter's business activities in Ukraine during Biden's time in office.

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The edited recordings appear to be of Biden and Poroshenko speaking to each other, and were leaked by Andrii Derkach—a Ukrainian associate of President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Last year, it was revealed that Giuliani was heading the president's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government into investigating Biden, ultimately leading to Trump's impeachment.

In the conversations, Biden reportedly demands that Poroshenko fire former general prosecutor Viktor Shokin or miss out on $1 billion in aid. The two men then apparently discuss Shokin's successor, Yuriy Lutsenko.Poroshenko said Wednesday onFacebook

that the audio was"fabricated" and claimed the leak was the work of the"fifth column of the Kremlin," which he said"has launched a full-fledged special operation against Ukraine. By means of pulling Ukraine into the electoral struggle in the U.S. they are trying to undermine the U.S. bipartisan support of Ukraine."

Derkach, who leaked the Biden recordings, said he received the tapes from investigative journalists and that they were created by Poroshenko. Derkach met with Giuliani in Kyiv in 2019 while the latter was gathering evidence to support Trump during the president's impeachment probe.

Derkach is a former lawmaker for the Ukrainian Party of Regions, a pro-Moscow party once headed by President Viktor Yanukovych, who was forced from power in the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution in 2014. Derkach also attended a KGB-run school in Moscow and his father was a former KGB officer who rose to become the head of Ukraine's intelligence service.

Read more: Newsweek »

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